Zelaya rules out second term

NEW YORK: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said here Tuesday that he would refuse to serve a second term if he were asked to do so.

"If offered the possibility to remain in power (for a second term), I would not do it," he told a press conference after addressing the UN General Assembly.

"I am going to fulfill my term up until January 27," said Zelaya, who was elected to a non-renewable four-year term in 2005.

Soldiers rousted Zelaya from his bed early Sunday and flew him into exile in neighboring Costa Rica just hours before a planned controversial vote asking Hondurans to sanction a future referendum to allow him to run again in November elections.

"Reforms are under way, but they are not incumbent on my administration. They will be up to the next administration. Re-election is not provided for under our law," the ousted leader said.

He vowed to return to Tegucigalpa on Thursday.

TEGUCIGALPA: A Honduran judge said Tuesday that ousted President Manuel Zelaya would be arrested if he returned to the Central American country, days after he was expelled in an army-backed coup.

Judge Maritza Arita told local radio that she had made the order late Monday.

Legal authorities accused the ousted president of 18 crimes, including "treason to the country," and "abuse of authority," Arita said.